We asked all the candidates to provide a candidate statement of up to 750 words, which should include some background about them and why they’re standing.
I’m standing for Plaid Cymru in the Llanishen and Thornhill by-election on Thursday, November 21 because I want to make a tangible difference to people’s daily lives.
An award-winning journalist, I worked for newspapers in south Wales for more than 10 years, leading public interest campaigns, raising money for charity, exposing crime and corruption, fighting cuts to schools and hospitals, and holding public bodies to account. Nowadays, I’m acting director of a business in Cardiff Bay, which monitors policy developments in Wales and Westminster.
As with journalism, you should not enter politics for personal gain, so if elected I will use the £13,000-a-year allowance to set up a community fund to support good causes in the ward.
Having lived in the area for 30 years, like many, I’m fed up with the status quo of Labour and the Tories – and I firmly believe that Cardiff can do so much better.
Labour has a lamentable record in office since taking control of the council in 2012 and in leading the Welsh Government over the past 20 years. Take transport alone:
- bus routes have been slashed and the city has been left without a bus station for years;
- elderly and disabled people have faced trouble renewing concessionary passes;
- thousands of people are sharing a handful of Nextbikes and the bike-sharing app’s broken;
- and Transport for Wales has made a stuttering start, with trains often cancelled, late or overcrowded.
Now, Labour proposes increasing the age at which people can get a free bus pass by eight years, which would fuel growing problems with loneliness and isolation among older people.
WalesOnline has also reported that there is “renewed hope” for a new motorway interchange at Thornhill, which would increase congestion on Thornhill Road – already one of the city’s worst pinchpoints. Junction 31 would also cost millions, damage the environment, and harm public health through increased emissions.
And all the above at a time when we need to encourage a shift from cars to public transport and active travel.
Plaid Cymru offers a radical alternative in this election. We will:
- fight for better public transport links in the north of the city;
- campaign against any plans for junction 31 on the M4 at Thornhill;
- promote active travel by drastically increasing the availability of shared bikes;
- call for jobs closer to where people live rather than centralised in the city centre;
- oppose cuts to local authority education budgets amid a school funding crisis;
- make local people’s voices heard on planning issues, particularly around new housing;
- and protect the greenbelt, one of the jewels in Cardiff’s crown, from any development.
If you agree with our vision for a better Cardiff, vote for Plaid on Thursday, November 21.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, My Cardiff North.